Climbers are plants that climb on their own, while creepers will need some help from you to soar to the sky. Some climbing vines, such as wisteria plants and kiwi vines, are "twining" vines; they wind their way around supports. But that's not the only mode of ascension.
Other climbers, sometimes dubbed "clinging vines," climb by using tendrils or other plant parts, such as the adventitious roots known as "holdfasts." Here are some examples:
- Sweet pea vines use tendrils
- The related vines, Boston ivy and Virginia creeper ascend via holdfasts (note that the "creeper" in the latter is a misnomer)
The climbers that use holdfasts may be familiar to you as being those vines that scale the exterior walls of old brick buildings (think "Ivy League colleges"). English ivy can be used for this purpose. But another vine with holdfasts offers a flowering display that ivy doesn't: namely, climbing hydrangea.
Meanwhile, trumpet vines can also scale walls via holdfasts. But unless you don't object to the prospect of having this aggressive vine popping up all over your landscaping, I don't recommend growing it. The problems it causes may outweigh the beauty of its blooms.
Speaking of problems in connection with vines, think twice before allowing one of these climbers to sink its holdfasts into a wall. Sure, the image of a wall draped in a viny curtain may enthrall you. But there may be a price to pay: those adventitious roots can do damage to a wall.
Climbers are often supplied with arbors or trellises upon which to climb, or else they are installed next to a fence for support. Vine plants can be subdivided into the general categories of climbers and creepers.